Another successful event in the GT4 America Series for the Aston Martin Racing runners

Monday, September 20, 2021


If the two races of the GT America Series from Watkins Glen at the weekend weren’t exciting enough for you, then the two races of the GT4 America Sprint X Series certainly were with two – hour long races that were again full of drama and podium finishes for some of the Aston Martin Racing contingent.

Like the GT America Series, the GT4 America had also seen an increase in numbers since their last round at Road America with the #50 3R Povoledo Racing AMR Vantage also racing in the Sprint X Series alongside just like the #09 Automatic Racing supported car did last time out and that meant for seven Aston Martin’s to support.

Qualifying for Saturday’s race 1 of the weekend had already been shaken up with overnight rain making for a green track with some crews attempting strategy that didn’t always work as well as a red flagged shortened session that made out for a ‘confused’ grid.

The #59 WR Racing of Paul Terry and a deputising Owen Trinkler where the highest Astons at the start with their P6 slot whilst Gray Newell achieved his best starting position to date from P8 and the brand new #50 Povoledo crew in P13.

Despite a grid of over thirty cars, the opening lap was quiet in comparison to some races with the #50 car of Ross Chouest moving up as did the #062 Silver Cup Aston of Ryan Dexter in his family ran car. By recent comparison, the #15 Bsport car of Bryan Putt was having a quiet start seemingly not able to improve much upon his P22 starting position.

Newell meanwhile was having a great race with driving that made his P8 start position look entirely warranted and deserved as he pushed Terry along in front of him in a battle for position whilst team stablemates (the #50 and #062 cars went side by side for overall position whilst racing in different classes. Luckily for them – they kept it clean!

At the halfway stage, the cars all pitted for their mandatory stops and driver changes with most working in the Am to Pro format.

Trinkler got his first racing experience of his new stead as he stepped in for Brandon Davis in the #59 car and fast he was too although the #24 Heart of Racing car of Ian James did manage to jump them for position during the stops which lifted the #24 car up to P4.

With fifteen minutes remaining and with six Astons in the top ten was a good position to be in as the cars closed in on their final laps. Kenton Koch was flying in his #15 Bsport car with the #24 and #59 cars looking good for a class podium as well. By the chequered flag, the #24 finished P3 overall and P2 in their Pro-Am class (their best result to date) with the #59 Terry/Trinkler car just three seconds behind in P4 and P2 respectively.

A time penalty for the #50 car blighted their first Sprint X race for causing a collision and that dropped them down to P5 and P4 with the #15 Bsport car behind them for an Aston Martin overall P3 – P6 lockout with the #062 Dexter car also securing P3 in their Silver Cup Class.

Race 2 on Sunday presented another solid Pro-Am Qualifying with Aaron Povoledo taking top AMR honours in P4 followed by Trinkler (P5), Koch (P8), James (P16), Davis (P20), Dexter (P23) and Kiebler (P26).

In a hectic opening lap, Trinkler pushed forward to take Povoledo before Koch did likewise before the end of the first lap as the three Astons raced P3 to P5 whilst James in his #24 car got stuck in the front midfield. Whilst the three inter marque battle continued, that allowed James to catch them.

Not to be out foxed on his opening Aston event, Povoledo was soon in front of the #59 WR Racing Aston by the end of the opening quarter and was pushing the race leading Porsche hard for the next position forward but that battle was soon thwarted by the need for a FCY for a stranded (championship leading GT4 leaders) BMW which also delayed the pit window.

Having all swapped over to their respective co-drivers, Paul Terry (now in the #59) and Ross Chouest (now in the #50) collided on their out lap as Terry tried to show his nose perhaps where it shouldn’t have been at the time. Spinning Chouest around, he was at least able to reset himself and get going again (well down the order by now) whilst Terry was out with obviously steering and suspension issues.

Leading the race immediately after this stop, Putt was the leading the race as he relented the overall lead to two superiorly faster Silver Cup cars but still lead their Pro-Am class. The race was building itself up to another typically exciting finish but all of that was cut short when a nasty looking incident between two Porsche’s brought out the Safety Car.

Cutting back, the film showed one Porsche getting sandwiched between two other cars including the #062 Dexter car which resulted in the Porsche being spat out and into the barrier resulting in severe frontal damage. The race would finish behind the Safety Car but with the required time adjusted results would see the #24 Heart of Racing team attain another podium finish – finishing P3 overall and P1 in Pro-Am with the #062 Dexter car finishing P8 overall and P4 in class. The #15 car would be classified much lower down the finishing order after being given a 30 second penalty for not serving a drive through penalty for a too shorter pit stop.

These cars also feature at Sebring in early October before seeing out their season two weeks later at Indianapolis.

Photo credits – GT4 America / CSJ Motorsport / Teams / F lagunas
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